by Visit Ventura
May 28th was National Hamburger Day (no kidding). But great burgers don’t give a whoot about timing or calendars, so what say we just make this Takeout Tuesday Local Hamburger Day here in Ventura?
Yep, the hamburger is an American icon, possibly tracing its lineage back to Hamburg, Germany, though the hamburger, as we know it, was invented in Seymour, Wisconsin. Truth is, no one seems certain about the origins of the hamburger. Folks have been eating cooked meat on bread for eons; the association with Hamburg possibly stems from a 1758 recipe for something called “Hamburg sausage.” Though other hamburger historians believe the name comes from the Hamburg American Line, a cruise line that served passengers a hamburger-resembling sandwich in the mid-1800s. Proving one thing for certain. Folks will debate over anything.
Little debate here, though — Ventura is home to some of the best burgers you’ll find. So what better excuse to take up the “Takeout Tuesday” torch, this time to help support our local burger magicians. As you may know by now, America jumpstarted Takeout kindness with “The Great American Takeout,” to help support restaurants struggling in these times. Venturans jumped on board. But Venturans also knew it would have to be about more than one day. And so, taking America’s lead and making it better, kind Venturans — knowing our local restaurants need a boost — have run with Ventura’s “Takeout Tuesdays” in a big way. Community gets community through challenging times. But you already knew that.
Yes, with the recent easing of some restrictions, some Ventura restaurants — and burger spots — are slowly reopening for seated, in-restaurant dining (Please check the individual business website to see how they are handling this limited opening phase). But if you’re still a little uncomfortable dining in, well, no better repast than a burger(s) to go.
Here in Ventura, there are the obvious stars like In-N-Out and The Habit. But while many would be happy to eat at either of these establishments, say, every day for the rest of their lives, a true burger lover might do a tad more digging. If not, you might miss Rumfish y Vino’s Wagyu Burger (spurn Jenny Craig and add the fried egg). Or any Paradise Pantry burger (so many options, but why not start with The Forager, topped with portobello mushrooms and caramelized shallots, and — yes again — add the roasted poblano chile). The Bombay Bar & Grill’s, well, Bombay Burger will make your day — and, should you be big enough to share, you can order it as two sliders. The tiny Harbor Cove Cafe, at the edge of Ventura Harbor near the end of Spinnaker Drive, has the kind of burger you remember as a kid — and it tastes even better at a sun-splashed picnic table (breakfast and lunch only). Finney’s Crafthouse offers — oh, lordy — the Hickory Barbecue Burger (house made barbecue) and the Impossible Burger (aptly named, because it doesn’t taste like it’s plant-based). Social Tap — at the end of Seaward Avenue near the beach — serves the delectably drippy Double Royale with Cheese. Just across the street (go ahead, you can do it) Duke’s Bar & Grill has been a long-time local go to; in part because of their burgers. You haven’t lived until you’ve had the — cleverly named — Whole Ball of Wax. On the east end of town, plenty of locals are already familiar with the burgers at Two Trees Cafe. If you aren’t, introduce yourself. There’s a reason their Classic Cheeseburger is one of their best sellers.
Instead of Local Hamburger Day, we may need to think Local Hamburger Month (Year?). But that’s a difficulty we believe you can happily resolve. And if you have your own favorites, please let us know. We celebrate the hamburger’s invention too.
And — last but not least — thanks for reading to the end, because, even for burger lovers, this may be the most important part.
Whatever restaurants we’re spotlighting on Takeout Tuesday, it’s all the same idea. Here is a way for Venturans to support our hometown businesses — our friends and neighbors — and, happy coincidence, do something nice for ourselves.
Now is the time to do what Ventura does best — help each other.
Thank you for helping.